MSU Faculty sends lesson to V-C on art: your reading ‘obscene, illiterate’
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In their first rebuttal to the Vice Chancellor's version of the controversy in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the MS University in Vadodara, a group of professors from the department have written to the University Grants Commission calling university officials "visually illiterate" and their description of student Chandramohan's works as "repugnant and illiterate...crude and obscene."
The report, submitted by Vice Chancellor Manoj Soni, to the UGC, had described Chandramohan's first work of art as "a huge Christian Cross where Lord Jesus Christ was shown with his penis out on the Cross, his palms and feet hanging from the two sides and the bottom of the Cross, respectively. Semen was shown as dropping out of his penis into a real toilet commode placed beneath the Cross. The toilet contained fishes."
To this, the Fine Arts faculty members said: "It is appalling that the University authorities would indulge in such paraphrasing of works of art and would offer such crude and obscene readings of the images concerned."
Regarding the image of Jesus on the Cross, they said: "The work is not figurative but symbolic. It can be interpreted to mean several things: one among them could be that the suffering of Christ on the cross has led his body to a condition of utter dissolution, turning Him into a fleshless state symbolized by water (fluids of the body). As his body drains into a receptacle (a modern commode) it takes its form as new life of elementary creatures (fish)...In fact, the theme of water flowing out from the body of Christ after his crucifixion by those who disapproved of his ideas is mentioned in the Bible and is a revered part of the story that is read out in churches all over the world at the remembrance of his death that takes place each year on Good Friday. Also the themes of suffering, sacrifice and regeneration are key themes in most world philosophies and religions."
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